Friday, May 28, 2010

Embarrassed in a Small Town

Imagine yourself in a grocery store parking lot where people you know are getting in and out of their cars- coming and going from the store...

What is possibly one of the most embarrassing things that could happen to you in said parking lot?

You are thinking skirt falling down, snot running down your face, throwing up in public, children saying something rude or acting obnoxious. Yes, all those things would be embarrassing. But, those would be circumstances where people would look away, feel sorry for you, give you time to recover, pretend they don't notice.

What happened to me made people want to stare, get a closer look, figure out what was up.

It went down like this.

I had just finished getting my hair done and decided to head over to the grocery store to get a few things while HH still had the baby. It wasn't far from the salon. Maybe a three minute drive.
So, I pull into the parking lot, park my car and hop out, keys and wallet in hand, feeling real cute in my freshly colored, cut and styled hair.

I look up and there is a police car parked behind my car, lights flashing. I think- I wonder what is going on here at Safeway. It doesn't immediately register that he is indeed parked behind my car and therefore must be at Safeway for me. He gestures to me and I look at him trying to figure out what he is trying to tell me. I finally figure out that he wants me to get back in my car.

I don't know how long he was behind me with his lights on because apparently I don't check my rear view mirror very often.

I have become a flight risk. Back in your vehicle lady. 

I wrack my brain for what offense I might have committed. Did I stop all the way at the sign or did I do a California stop in the state of Montana? Did I run a light, cut him off???? I have no idea. 

He comes to the door.

Can you explain why you are in a hurry ma'am? I clocked you at 35 in the 25 mile an hour zone over the bridge.

I'm sorry- what bridge? 

The one by the park.

Oh. I just got my hair done and I wanted to run to the store while my husband still had the baby.

I smile- perhaps he has a wife and child. He doesn't indicate that he relates at all.

License, insurance and registration please.

I grab my wallet. I try in vain to get my license out of the little plastic part thingy. It won't budge. He watches me struggle. It finally comes out and I hand it to him. Then onto the insurance and registration. I hand him the insurance card.

This one is expired.

I find another one-not expired. Two down, one to go.

Is this the registration? It looks totally different than the registration in California.

Yes. Okay. I'll be right back. Stay in your vehicle for your own safety.

I know that this is a euphemism for - I am afraid you are going to bolt.

He is gone for a long time. His vehicle is still behind mine at an angle, like they do in movies, lights flashing- blue, red, blue, red. People come and go, stare in my direction, recognize me and wave apologetically, wondering what kind of trouble I am in.

He comes back- has to knock on the window to get my attention because I am in the middle of a text to HH, telling him of my misfortune. I am startled and roll down the window. I notice he is younger than me, round cheeked and I wonder how long he had to work on that serious demeanor.

I am just going to give you a warning, but you need to slow it down near the park. Kids play there and it is a busy intersection. 


He is about to walk away and I say- Thanks for lights behind me the whole time in the parking lot.

I am smiling, being friendly. Not sarcastic in a mean way.

He almost laughs, almost smiles and says- Yah, I figured that was probably punishment enough. 


Farmgirl Paints said...

Whew you were spared girl. I NEVER. NEVER. get a warning. You must have looked real cute with your new cute little haircut;) Have a great weekend!

Cherie said...

Love it when they don't write a ticket!

Wanted to let you know there is a new blog starting June 1st called the MOB Society. For Mothers of Boys. Just thought you might be interested when I saw you had all boys!

Valerie said...


And I've been there. Driving through small-town Missouri to Lake of the Ozarks with a bunch of girlfriends, when I blew through said small town at over the speed limit.

Then, when asked for drivers license and proof of insurance, I handed him EXPIRED insurance card and did not have the current one on me. Oh boy...jail cell here I come.

He let me off with just a warning. My girlfriends were ever grateful as they were betting on which one of them was gonna have to smooth-talk him out of giving me a ticket.

Maybe the Fire Dept. tags on my car? hahahah

Karla said...

Loved your story and can only imagine the embarrassment. Like you don't know about small kids playing nearby! LOL!

The Brewers said...

oh you know he was loving every minute of it!!!

JANET! said...

you always have a way of making sure we all feel like we were right there with you. SO FUNNY. and, i'm glad you got a warning only. ;)

Erin said...

Oh boy, I've had the same thing happen on the main strip in front of where I work. You just want to crawl in a big black hole so no one can see you.

Glad you got a warning, I was not so lucky.